Winter: long nights, dark mornings and, to top it all, winter skin. My skin goes so dull and lifeless in the winter, I've actually contemplated a few sunbed sessions to bring back some life into it. I don't feel black in the winter; I feel more of a dirty grey. As I get strange looks in the summer when I'm buying sun creams, I can only imagine the looks I'd get if I booked myself a sunbed. The other option is to invest in some St Tropez, but I draw the line at fake tan.
In fact, body scrubs and skin brushing are the best way to revitalise tired, dull looking skin, so I checked myself in for a salt scrub and body mask at the new Aveda Concept salon in Covent Garden, London. I'm met by Lisa Williams, whose impossibly glowing skin is a walking advertisement for the place. I pick an oil I like, and then Lisa gets down to work with the salt, scrubbing me to within an inch of my life. After half an hour, I've been oiled, scrubbed and salted.
Next comes the seaweed, which is slathered all over, before I'm wrapped in what feels like cling-film, covered in towels and left to "cook" for 15 minutes. After a few initial moments of feeling a bit odd (is this what a chicken feels like? What if there's a fire?), I manage to relax, and by the time Lisa returns I have nearly drifted off. Once showered and moisturised, my skin feels soft and stimulated; in fact, I could swear it's glowing.
Ideally, you should try to have a professional body scrub every few months, more if you're feeling flush. In the meantime, skin brushing should be part of your beauty routine throughout the year. Use a strong brush, made of natural fibres (the brushes from Aveda, Cariad and E'spa are my personal favourites). Brushing is recommended every other day; or, if you have sensitive skin, once or twice a week. Don't be shy when brushing - your skin can take a fair bit of abrasion, although obviously avoid your face and other sensitive areas. Always brush on dry skin, in one direction (towards the heart). When you've finished, rinse, use lashings of moisturiser and feel smug for the rest of the day at how damned silky your skin feels.